July 25, 2008 at 1:59 pm | Posted in law school | 4 Comments
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I just don’t think I can study any more. I need to, but every time I get a wrong answer I freak out (even though I need to only shoot for a C-!!!) The ever-wise Ellen sent me this picture of her, Nell, and me about to cross the finish line of the half marathon we did this spring. I (in the white hat on the right) look sort of hunched over and slow, but the metaphor is clear — you’re not going to stop with a mile to go, right? Tim has been likening this process to the Boston Marathon all along. Two weeks ago, when the BarBri classes ended, we were just out of Wellesley, running past the firehouse, and up our first of the three hills in Newton — reaching the first false summit. After that, there was another hill and false summit, and now I think we are officially in the Heartbreak Hill part of the metaphor. When I ran the marathon for real in 1997, at the bottom of Heartbreak Hill a little boy tried to offer me chocolate cake. I turned him down then (because even I, a 10-minute-miler, cannot eat chocolate cake before running up a hill, as sweet as the gesture was), but I think now I shall go in search of chocolate…

Motivation of a different sort — come next Friday…


July 24, 2008 at 8:48 am | Posted in law school | 1 Comment
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I did not want to run yesterday morning. At 6:30, the humidity was already 91%. (I know this because Henry never met a gadget he didn’t love, so of course there is some high-tech digital barometer thing sitting in the kitchen.) But after an early morning thunderstorm ended, I ducked out and headed down South Street to cut through a little path in the woods behind Clearwater over towards Division Avenue in Summit. It was about a 40-minute loop (an aside: running in the heat and humidity and hills of Summit is great training!), and 20 minutes into it lightning cracked right over my head and the skies opened up. Whether I turned around or kept going, I still had 20 minutes to go, so nothing left to do but pick up the pace a bit.

It was the best run I’ve had in weeks. Months. I remembered running down the far end of Prospect Street with Ankie, senior year, in a similar storm. There is an exhilaration in just surrendering to the rain. As I ran up and down hills yesterday, brushing the rain out of my eyes (and waving knowingly at other joggers caught out in the storm), I felt so grateful that I could be out running on two healthy legs, that I had a beautiful baby waiting at home for me, that I have the most supportive family one could ask for.

Later, through the wonders of Facebook, which I could go on and on about but it would be cliched by this point, I went off to meet some high school friends for a drink in town. I hadn’t seen Carolee, Karen, Meme, or Darci since our fifth reunion high school, and of course I don’t remember talking to them then (nor much of the reunion in the first place, for various reasons…). Going to our tenth reunion was out of the question for me at that point in my life, and apparently no one got around to organizing a 15th. While they have all settled nearby and have remained close to each other, I nevertheless felt like I had just seen them a month ago. I love how maturity, chidlren, and a mellowing kindness can take hold in one’s 30s — five years ago I would have been to insecure and self-aware to have met up with high school friends. Last night we closed out (in Summit, that would be 11 p.m.!) the bar and had a wonderful time. We didn’t talk about the bar exam, nor what firm I worked for — we gossiped and talked about our kids. I definitely needed the break — needed to get out of my mom’s house, away from the forest-green glare of those BarBri books, needed that glass of wine (sauv blanc on the rocks, a nod to LMR!). But I think the evening also was so enjoyable just because — as cheesy as this will sound — people, at their core, are open and kind.

And this was, again, illustrated to me this morning. Sitting at the kitchen table on another hot, humid, rainy day, I was procrastinating over my third cup of coffee. I just didn’t see how I could hit the books again for 10 hours. (At this point, I wish the exam were tomorrow…) The UPS guy appeared at the back door, and my mom got up to get her package — but, instead, it was for me! An old, old friend, Natalie — whom I haven’t laid eyes on in at least 15 years, but who herself has taken three bar exams (NY/NJ and then, as so many people do, another bar exam for love when she moved to Atlanta for her husband…) — sent me some homemade sugar cookies from Eleni’s in NYC. It was as if she knew exactly where I’d be mentally on this exact morning — not knowing how I could do it for yet another day. I finished my coffee with one of the cookies and now feel like, with so much support and encouragement, even from the most unexpected places, there’s no way I won’t fly through this test.

Thank you thunderclouds and old friends.

(An aside: yet another reason why I need an iPhone — how I’d love to post a picture of our gathering. Everyone looks the same — and yet, as I think happens with women in their 30s, much better than even 15 years ago! Especially since between all of us we had 10 children…)

And she’s off!

July 22, 2008 at 8:37 pm | Posted in little bug | 3 Comments

July 18, 2008 — Practicing with Daddy this past weekend for today’s big event. Note, in addition to the lack of clothes (it was very, very hot in NJ, even at 7 a.m.), her “walking sneaks,” courtesy of her Mimi from the previous day’s trip to the shoe store in Summit.

Truth is, I actually miss writing on my blog even with a scheduled hiatus. Am writing today mostly to mark a milestone for eternity in the ether: Little Buggy walked today for REAL. She has been taking a few steps between chairs and counters, or walking from a few steps away towards you, with prompts (and lots of applause and exclamation at the end!) for a few weeks. Since we’ve been down in New Jersey, however, she’s had a lot more room to walk, both around the house and outdoors on the patio, where there are lots of fun things to explore like flower pots, bushes, ants, and even a fountain. She had gotten to the point this weekend where she actually wasn’t crawling anymore, but she’d come over to you and literally grab your hand so she could hold on to a finger while walking around. But today she did it on her own.

We weren’t prompting or praising — it was like she was testing it out on her own while she thought we weren’t noticing (as if). Taking a few sneaky steps around the TV room, and then all the way across it. Later in the day, there she was: just walking across the patio. And then she realized what she was doing. And she did it again. And again. Over to the flower pots. Over to the front steps. The patio table. The fountain. Back to the flowers. And then, fortunately, again for Henry’s video camera. Am kind of heartbroken that Tim isn’t here to see it — although he has seen many of the preliminary steps and attempts. She’ll be running by the time he arrives on Friday!

Will post a picture tomorrow. Once Henry broke out the camera, my mom came and got me out of study mode so that I could be in the video. “Ew, not looking like this!” I protested (i.e., greasy, blemish-y, bloat-y, overcaffeinated). But as she pointed out, I can always remember that Little Buggy walked during that summer I was back in New Jersey studying for the bar, and someday I’ll laugh at my appearance. But, more likely, I will be much more focused on the day my little baby became a toddler.

By the way…

July 19, 2008 at 2:10 pm | Posted in read this, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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… I meant to leave as a link — in case all you are desperate for some blog-reading while I’m on hiatus — to Dr. French Fry, written by a witty, eloquent medical student (wonder who that could be?) I particularly direct your attention to the post on the wonders of Pedialyte, whose elixir-like effect I was first introduced to by my friend Melissa, while on a ski vacation in Steamboat. On the way home from a bar one night, she made us detour to the drug store to buy Pedialyte so we would be ready to hit the mountain early the next morning. I dismissed it as a strange remnant from her ski-bum days, but I dutifully drank it.  When I woke up the next morning feeling fine, I attributed my clarity to the fact that I just hadn’t probably drank all that much to begin with (doubtful).

However, I re-remembered her Pedialyte pit-stop before a recent bachelorette weekend. And now I can say with all surety: it’s truly a miracle worker. Between Dr. French Fry’s post –even though she mocks us “normal people” for liking to talk about it so much — and last fall’s Times article on how and when athletes use it, Pedialyte seems to be making a comeback, something all you bar-exam takers should take note of as you drink your little faces off the first week in August.

Until August 1, then…

July 15, 2008 at 10:00 pm | Posted in law school, little bug | Leave a comment
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And with that, Marbury v. Madison Ave. will take a brief haitus to acquire a law license in the state of Massachusetts. Little Bug and I are hopping on the Acela to Jerz tomorrow morning (that should be an adventure!) for two weeks of studying at my mother’s (who, I’ve mentioned several times, herself took the bar with three children. Though now that I think back on it, two of us were away at summer camp and the third — me — was apparently more than happy to stay far away from the house and out of my mother’s hair because I honestly don’t even remember her taking the bar! Which only shows you how self-absorbed a 15-year-old girl can be…)

I’m actually looking forward to diving in fully, knowing that my mom will be handling all of life’s mundane distractions (cooking, etc.) and taking very good care of my baby during the long days — and knowing that I’ll surface having done the best I can do.

See you on the other side!

Can I go to law school when I’m old: Part II

July 15, 2008 at 9:46 pm | Posted in law school | 1 Comment
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Here’s why I did not go to law school: to make friends. I have enough friends. I’m not being cheeky.  I am fortunate to have made wonderful friends over the stages of my life — childhood and high school, summer camp, college, journalism school, in Idaho and Los Angeles, and here in Boston.  As you move out of your 20s and debaucherous mini-reunions become less and less of an option, to properly keep in touch with friends — especially as they begin to disperse back to hometowns, across the country, or across the world — is a struggle. I wish I had more time for these incredible people who have criss-crossed my life — be they all the way in China or just across the Charles River as it were — I certainly wasn’t looking to fill any sort of gaps of friendship in my lilfe.

My decision to go to law school, as I’ve written about before, was almost solely for my own professional and financial self-improvement, and one of the reasons I chose to go to law school in Boston — as opposed to New York or Los Angeles, which also were options — was because I had such a great support system of sisters and friends here already. I knew just one person when I set foot on campus in the fall of 2005 — my sister’s roommate, Meg, who already was a good friend — and I didn’t think that anyone would really want to be friends with the older, more experienced (ahem) student, who had lived a lot more life than probably 99% of the beer-and-softball playing crowd that BC Law is known to attract.  (To be fair, I also sort of knew Andrew, since my other sister pointed him out in the “facebook” and said, “I went to college with him. He’s great. You should be his friend.”) But in general, I wanted to stay in a familiar city, with familiar people. What would my classmates and I possibly have in common? I lived in a tiny studio in Cambridge, and I assumed they’d all be sharing large flats in Allston and Brighton, having study groups (not my thing) and keg parties (not my thing anymore).

So I wasn’t looking to make more friends, but law school is a strange world, especially your first year.  First, you are thrown all the way back to high school with a rigorous, set schedule: you take the same exact classes with the same exact people at the same exact times every day. (BC also drives this home with the very high school-eque — public high school, at any rate! — corridors of lockers.) You get to know everyone in your 80-person section well — you see them in the library, grab a quick lunch with them in the cafeteria, silently urge them on when they get cold-called on a footnote in Torts or groan when you-know-who raises his/her hand again. And then, of course, you need to unwind, and if everyone else is going for $1 drafts in Cleveland Circle after the last class on Friday (at 3:30 p.m.!) what else are you going to do? It’s a camaraderie that exists probably only in one’s college freshman dorm — the whole experience is so new and somewhat terrifying that you cling to this group to which you’ve been randomly assigned for dear life. 

And from that larger group a few people start to emerge as lifelong friends. I know that there are several dozen people whom I will be happy to see for years to come at alumni events, tailgates, and walking the sidewalks of the Financial District in their lawyer suits.  But there are a few more whose children’s baptisms, husband’s 30th birthday parties, weddings, baby showers, and housewarmings I’ll attend for the rest of my life.  A small group who will get together for random lunches and brunches, whom I can email to complain or to celebrate.  Without whom I couldn’t have made it through law school — people who kept me laughing during the trials of 1L year, academically afloat while sick and pregnant 2L year, and sane and happy as I did 3L year with the Little Bug.  With the exception of a few who are fleeing or have fled to more interesting places out West or to NYC (or even Connecticut! Yikes!), most will be staying in Boston, working in buildings I can see from my 34th floor office. 

And most of my friends, I should note, are much, much younger than I am.  Which means I have another round of bridal showers and weddings and baby showers — and bar nights! — but also that, in the end, age wasn’t and isn’t the divisive factor I thought it would be going back to school.  Moreover, as an older student, I also formed relationships with professors that I know I’ll sustain — something that, naively, I was too intimidated to do in college.  Not only am I much wiser about the benefits of making and keeping contacts in one’s professional world, but I could relate to professors as a professional in my own right, as a parent, and as a friend (professors it turns out — gasp! — are people too!).  In general, these younger and older friendships are due in part to the intensity of the law school experience and, particularly, the cohesive nature of 1L year and my relative independence when I started.  But I also got really, really lucky in stumbling upon a school where my friends are the types of people I strive to be when I’m at my best.

Happy Birthday Little Bug!

July 14, 2008 at 10:07 am | Posted in little bug | 1 Comment
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Taken this morning…

Not all that much I can put into words, but this has been the best year of my life. “How fast it goes,” one always hears, but it’s true — too true. Still, I wake looking forward to the day ahead, starting with the moment I go into her room to see her standing in the crib waiting for me with a big smile.

July 14, 2007

Tim and I have been saying to each other, “Remember when she just used to lie on the ottoman?” “Remember when we used to swaddle her up?” “Remember when she didn’t used to eat real food?” It’s almost hard to — and yet as much as those days of baby-hood have slipped away too soon, every day is more fun: another step, another word, another discovery. I am in awe and wonder, and grateful for the joy my daughter brings everyone around her. Happy Birthday, my Little Bug!


July 11, 2008 at 9:29 am | Posted in little bug | Leave a comment
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July 11, 2007.  Note the flowered “hospital bag” in the background…

My due date, etched into my head for more than nine months.  We marked it with a big glass of California Zinfandel (yes, on my part. She was cooked, right? I was done!) and spicy food at P.F. Chang’s, and I woke up at 5 a.m. the very next morning with my first contractions.  Was it the hot peppers? The wine? Whatever it was, it certainly didn’t hurry her out…

PSA: A non-libelous warning about Back Bay Laundry Cleaners

July 9, 2008 at 1:58 pm | Posted in Massholes | 1 Comment
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I know some people reading this blog live in Back Bay (and on Marlborough Street, no less!) Here is my neighborly warning, which I write as much to dispel some of my lingering annoyance as to actually effect any change.

About a month ago, Back Bay Laundry Cleaners, at 409 Marlborough Street, lost three of Tim’s shirts. They looked and looked, so they said. But the shirts are gone. Then, about two weeks ago we dropped off our duvet for dry cleaning before storing it for the summer. I thought that was very organized and Martha Stewart-like of me. We got it back, and it sat in its plastic bag for about a week in my closet before I got around to opening it up and putting it away. They must have sealed it up while it was still wet/damp, and it is now moldy and ruined. There is a sign behind the cash register that says something to the effect of: “Any complaints must be brought to our attention within three days or we are not responsible.” So I guess we missed that window, although the studious bar-reviewer in me is searching for other breach of contract remedies despite this disclaimer.

But, in the end, I just don’t have the time or energy to fight with them, so all I can do is write this post, which, fortunately, I think does not meet the necessary elements for libel.  I imagine that there are others — including the several people I’ve seen in there previously arguing about missing/ruined clothes (you’d think that would have been a warning…but it’s just so conveniently located!) — who would leap to my defense that I am hardly ruining the cleaners’ reputation. Moreover, since this is Massachusetts, even though this is not a matter of “public concern” (I don’t think), the cleaners would have to prove both falsity (truth is always a defense!) and fault.  So, if they sued me for libel they would have to prove that if this post were in fact a false statement (which it’s not), I also did not have a “mistaken belief” in this statement. If I didn’t have a mistaken belief, it would mean that I was negligent because I didn’t act reasonably to investigate whether or not their incompetence was true or not. In other words, even if I thought it was true, I should have tried to ascertain whether it really was true before writing about it. Anyway, can a business entity sue for libel in the first place, or is it just a personal tort (help me out here, lawyers and lawyers-to-be)?

(And I have just successfully reviewed the intentional tort of defamation while pursuing the much more enjoyable task of posting on my blog. Who says you can’t multi-task while studying for the bar?)

Happy things

July 7, 2008 at 7:53 pm | Posted in little bug, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Someone likes her new bedtime routine. She looks like a little girl

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